News from Beirut January 10  1997  .......Search

Israeli Threat and diplomatic efforts

South Lebanon ceasefire monitoring committee is to meet again today at Nakoura to see to an Israeli complaint over the fall of a Katyusha rocket which struck west Galilee Jan 8, The firing of the Katyusha at north Israel was not claimed by anyone including Hizbullah and Amal. The firing of katyusha is a main question in Lebanon many circles argue who and why now.

Some news say there are indicators a palestinian group is responsible of the firing. Israel names PFIP-GC lead by Ahmad Jibril but also said no Lebanon official party try to stop katyusha firing and some Israeli officials bear Lebanon full responsibility . There are conflicting reports and speculations about what and where Israel would retaliate.  Officials here exclude a large scale operation and exert effort to contain the escalation, but Jan 9 two explosions in Tel Aviv and the katyusha rocketing could be used by Israel to mount operations in Lebanon .

P.Hrawi criticized yesterday the katyusha firing saying it will give Israel a pretext and said the firing is useless and do not harm Israel but harms Lebanon. Lebanese officials put emphasis on the point that the talks on hebron is stumbling and it is a dead time now as US state department is preoccupied with the reshuffle. Lebanon is on daily contact with Damascus to follow up on the situation. F.M. Boueiz held talks Wednesday in Damascus with Syrian counterpart and was informed that France see the situation in south disturbing and try to do something to control it, but it seems France is now supporting strongly cease fire which consequently means halt of resistance operations. Speaker Nabih Berri declared Jan 9 saying Israel will not risk a large scale operation in the South, probably it will carry operations inside areas out of security zone. He said the last katyusha was fired by palestinians and a warning was given to them.

P.M. Hariri said there are intensive contacts at present to contain Israeli escalation- Lebanese leaders see Israel real target is the April understanding in its form and merit- For Israel it says Hizbullah hides behind April understanding thinking Israel will not violate it .

Israel activities coordinator Uri Lubrani says the general thinking is that Hizbullah did not fire katyusha but Lebanon, who signed April agreement, is fully responsible of Hizbullah and others operations, However Lebanon refrain to put an end to it because it serves Syrian interests.

Speaker Berri divorced troika

Speaker Nabih Berri quoted telling a delegation of  Lebanese press syndicate Jan 9 , that the troika died and he will never meet again P. Hrawi nor P.M Hariri under its frame work. He was also quoted saying Mr Hariri stand toward army promotions targets the Shiite community because one of the eight who Hariri refuses to promote is col. Jamil Essayd.

Mr. Berri said too that  the country today is  farm country. Mr Berri sharp remarks are seen here a shift and indicate that relations between top officials are again deteriorated. Some circles see remarks  like this are a political bomb and a political escalation going at time military deterioration takes place in South.

Mr Berri showed support and backing to army command, siding with it against Mr Hariri .

Iran-Bkirki relations

Iranian ambassador in Lebanon said after a visit to Bkirki where he met Patriarch Sfeir, that his country is looking for permanent continuous relations with the Patriarch, who enjoys a special position among Lebanese in general and Christians in particular.

Qulayat airport to receive Americans

P.M. Rafic Hariri is planning rehabilitation of Qulayat air field to be ready to receive tourists and businessmen, same as Nayrab airport in Aleppo which is allocated to tourists and Russian businessmen .

Hariri plan is to give opportunity to Americans to visit Lebanon and not to raise the case of insufficient security measures at the Beirut airport and its vicinity.

Miscellaneous ...


Head of  Tadamoun- Sour Ali Ahmad resigned in protest against Soccer union officials and their practices.

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